UAE work visa with UK criminal record

Hi all,

I hope someone can give me an honest answer, or have experience from friends or themselves in similar situation below. I've contacted the London UAE Embassy and tried Juat Answer online, but they hadn't been very helpful.

I have a criminal record in common assault and criminal damage, committed 2 years ago in UK. It is a spent conviction. After reading hours online, it says to get a UAE work visa, you need a police clearance from UK and it's unlikely you'll be able to work in UAE with a criminal record.

The jobs I'll be applying is a personal trainer job.

- Can I still apply for a visa to work in Dubai? If so, will the employer find out I have a criminal record?
- If I'm honest with the future employer, and they accept me on the job with a criminal record, will the UAE still let me get a work visa?
- Or is it, a simple answer, with a criminal record you can’t get a visa to work in Dubai?

An honest answer will be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Any advise will be much appreciated.


You can apply for the visa and there will be no problems until you are on the right track. Forget about the past and start working in right way for a better future.

Thanks for the reply, Manhammed.

I'm worried, as I've read from the news, the UAE started doing security checks with foreigns back in their home country from January 2017. … n-workers/

I just want to find out is this truth, or is there anyway of getting around it.

I am surprised by what you say and I doubt when you apply for work visa in the UAE - which you do once you are in the UAE and with your job in hand - that they would be allowed to ask some foreign power (the UK)  what they had on you. As Mohammed above says, go forwards not backwards your past conviction is spent and only keeps coming up if you keep bringing it up. Good luck.

I am not fully aware about UK Nationality requirement in getting UAE Residence Visa/ Employment Visa but as per my experience working in a company as an HR before and part of my job is to apply for visa, there is no need for police report to apply any visa either residence or employment visa. Those things are needed only if you want to migrate to other country from UAE going to Canada for example. But to work here I never here that UAE immigration or Department of Labor is looking for that unless your employer require it as part of their company rules and for their company uses only. Hope it helps.

Thank you, Stuart and Hajar for the reply.

I'm going to apply for the job in Dubai and see what happens, if applying for a UAE visa needs a international police check (it's just I've read on the news UAE started asking for expats a police letter from their home country).

I've spoken to the employer in Dubai and likes my CV and experience, but I hadn't told him my spent criminal record. What I don't want to do is, I apply for the job in Dubai, apply for visa, leave my full-time UK job, and then finds out I can't get a UAE visa.

I think, to play it safe ill will pay for a solicitor to get the answers (tried justanswer online, but none of them answered my questions).

I really appreciate for the replies and will keep everyone posted with the answers from a solicitor. Thanks

Just go for it! Interestingly, I once applied for a job with a UK pharma company through an agency all here in the U.K. and after the 16th. document I had to produce, the agency said "and now we'll do the international criminal record check". At which point, somewhat taken aback, and although as far as I know I don't have one,  I told them what to do with it and went to work in Dubai. :-)  Mrs. Thatcher wound our UK system up like this and Tony Blair never unwound it. We had the War on Drugs and now we have the War on Terror. Luckily everywhere else is not like this.

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